In Praise Of Well-Built Equipment


Sony-STR-DA30ES-001 It just occurred to me this weekend that the AVR in my media room system, a Sony STR-DA30ES recently celebrated its sixteenth birthday.

If it was a child, it would have just gotten its driver’s license.

In AV terms, that’s practically ancient.

I no longer have any of the other gear that I had from the same era; not the TV, nor the speakers, the CD or MiniDisc players, and certainly not the VCR!

And yet (knock on wood) it’s still faithfully working away, having seen nearly daily use watching TV, movies, and listening to music really, really loudly.

Can an AVR really do a great job for 2-channel HiFi listening?

You’d better believe it.


I even still have the original, programmable remote that came with it. I haven’t used it in more than a decade, having upgraded to increasingly more complex remote systems over the years, but I know where it is: under the stairs in the original box the AVR came in, along with its manual and a copy of the glossy ES brochure for it.

Yes, I’m one of those people.

When I worked for Sony, we joked that ES stood for Employee Standard, because we felt that not only was ES equipment worth the money, but the regular-line stuff just wasn’t nearly as good.

If it can be said that I’ve ever gotten my money’s worth of entertainment out of a piece of equipment, it can be said of this AVR.

So happy belated birthday, STR-DA30ES, I hope you keep rocking out for a few years more.